Art of Murder Card of Destiny is the latest adventure mystery release from City Interactive that puts you in the shoes of FBI Agent Nichole Bonnet hot on the trail of a new suspect.
Graphics & Audio: 8/25,
Finicky is the appropriate word for Cards of Destiny, the newest puzzle adventure in the Art of Murder line of games with FBI Agent Nicole Bonnet as the main character. In typical adventure mystery gaming fashion you click your way through items and talk with people trying to solve the mystery placed in your path.
The story line is simple with almost no fanfare or tutorial into how the game works as you start you adventures in Nichole apartment on her day off. While the game uses the all too familiar point and click gameplay and simple wandering around finding clues or talking with people problems creep in quickly.
The problem in Art of Murder: Cards of Destiny is you can click on all kinds of useless items as well as the real clues and tools you need to solve the murders. Your main task is solving a series of murders and putting the joker behind bars and by joker the antagonist is much like Batman’s arch nemesis.
He likes to leave cards as clues and lead Agent Bonnet around leaving clues just so she arrives at the scene of the crime while the criminal act is being played out in front of her. The murders are a necessary part of the game but things like backtracking and picking objects in order should not be.
An adventure game such as the Art of Murder series needs to make things as simple on the player as possible so you can get to the meat of the mystery. Unfortunately Cards of Destiny makes things difficult to the point of tedium and frustration on poor old player as you work toward solving your mystery and nabbing the bad guy.
You need to select items to take with you when appropriate during the game so this means you can only carry things that the game knows you need next. Things you will need in the future but do not show up on some internal list will not be available so returning to areas to get something you need later in the game will happen often.
I can understand when a game allows you to only carry so many things because of weight or space but when you can’t pick up that mascara that is lying right on the bed till later does not make sense. You will need to come back to all the areas of the game more than once to reexamine and collect different objects in trying to solve the current puzzle portion of the game.
If that object is not on that mythical list of puzzles available to solve it means the item will not be allowed to be stored in your convenient inventory. Later you will need to come back to get it for use and this brings up my second point of contention with Cards of Destiny.
You can’t just click on an object in that inventory bar at the bottom of your screen and then click on the next item that obviously goes with it. The Antacid tablets need to go into the glass of water not the other way around, or is that backwards, whichever way it has to be the one item has to go correctly to the next item and if you get it backwards the game will simply state you can’t do that.
If you try to combine one object with another and it doesn’t work try the opposite item and combine with the first to see if that works. All too often I found you had to try these silly combination switches to get things to work but for the most part the game works well like your main cursor.
Cards of Destiny uses a mouse symbol for your cursor that includes other symbols when you click on items so you can tell quickly if you can just view an item or keep it for later use. An eye symbol gives you the chance to check it out but not to put it away for safe keeping which doesn’t make sense for small items that could easily fit into your pocket.
The other symbol while searching throughout the game by your mouse/cursor is a hand which means you can take it so the two most used symbols are the eye and hand but there a few more associated with the cursor. A curved bar with arrows on the ends means you can turn the object when looking at things in your inventory but only rotating them around sideways from the front view.
This becomes a problem quickly near the beginning of the game as you can’t look into a box very well to look at what’s inside but you can click around and get objects out if your meant to at that time. Another icon will come up when dealing with people in a little talk balloon that appears when you mouse near a person meaning you can talk with them.
But that does not mean they will have anything worth saying and Nicole really does not have much you really want to hear as her voice acting is really bad. Many of the characters have decent voices and somewhat decent voice acting but Nicole, the main character, is bad, especially her frequent cheesy sayings.
Aside from having no chance to take what you want and the bad voice acting the game is not all that bad but unless you’re a diehard adventurer you may not have the stamina to hold out for the end. Cards of Destiny may be a part of a series that is doing well but things are looking down for the Art of Murder future and Cards of Destiny is definitely for the stout fans of adventuring.
Graphics and audio are pretty good but with most adventure games in this genre characters are not the best when they are talking but overall they look pretty good. Audio is alright as well but with Nichole’s bad voice acting and some of the rather lackluster script the game is not all that great an adventure mystery game.
Unless you’re a diehard adventure mystery fan you may want to search out other adventure games that has a better gameplay, graphics and acting. Art of Murder: Cards of Destiny is not really worth the trip and finding out who did it to get them behind bars may not be worthwhile with the games overall problems.